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Interpreting Pulse Oximetry Data

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  • Interpreting Pulse Oximetry Data

    Hello forum,

    Not sure if I should be in the "introductions" forum. I did post on here before, 7 years ago:

    but I haven't really made any progress since then. I have the exact same problems, to this day.

    I had a sleep study carried out by Papworth Hospital in 2013. I had a first test which they called "borderline" and a second test which gave a negative result.

    In 2015 I had a heart attack (aged 45!). One stent fitted successfully, and I recovered quickly. Within about 6 weeks I was back to normal. The problem for me is that "normal" isn't very good.

    I had another sleep study carried out here in London about 6 months ago and was told that the results were normal, average spO2 during the night of 95%.

    I wonder if I might share a couple of photos on here. They're printouts from the "SPO2 monitor" software which came with a pulse oximeter that I bought recently (which can store and transmit data).

    The first one is about an hour's data from yesterday afternoon. I felt crushingly tired, quite suddenly, and slept fitfully for about an hour. This happens often for me. When I woke up, my upper body was quivering although it stopped quickly. I felt terrible - like I wasn't getting enough breath. My breathing seemed "lazy" - quite slow and shallow. No noticeable impediment to breathing, just that my body didn't seem to want to do it. Had a choking sensation - head/adam's apple/stomach. Felt confused & disorientated. Looking at the two graphs, it's noticeable to me that my pulse and spO2 seem to be a little bit unstable. I seem to remember being told by Papworth that this had been a feature of the "borderline" test I had back in 2013.

    The second one is from last night, about 1am to 2:30am. Seems noticeable that for the first half of the period, my spO2 and pulse were *much* more stable. Then around 1:40am they started to fluctuate (much like they had during the afternoon nap), dropping below 90% quite a number of times. and also rebounding up to close to 100% within a very short period. After about 45 minutes of this I woke up.

    Waking every hour or two during the night is very common for me.

    Today I feel tired, groggy, grumpy, disorientated, lethargic. As I do most days.

    If I lie down flat on my back while awake, this "lazy breathing" I described is often there. And then suddenly I can feel a jolt inside and I'll take some deeper breaths. It doesn't feel right to me.

    If anyone reading this posting has any experience of interpreting this sort of data and is able to offer any comments or advice, I'd be very grateful. My health is very poor. No doctor seems to be able to find anything wrong with me - all my blood test results are normal, nice BP numbers (110/70 ish), on paper everything looks good. But I'm so exhausted than I'm unable to work, or sometimes even to get out of bed. Occasionally the symptoms ease and I'm able to climb mountains, go on long bike rides, dig the garden, socialise, etc. but this is fairly uncommon, sadly. Sleep apnoea would do a very good job of explaining all my symptoms, but there's no positive diagnosis to be had, it seems.

    Grateful for any advice...

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    Last edited by bigalxyz; 28th August 2017, 11:11.